Do 'missed meals' affect your body and health?
I have recently been asked the question, 'If I was to miss a meal throughout the day, how would that affect my health/body'? and is that classed as 'under-eating'?
I am here to give you the low down on all things calories in VS calories out. No matter what, whether you are on so called diet, health plan, a new fad diet of the week, or what ever it may be and whether your goal is general weight loss or muscle building, it comes down to the amount of calories you eat in a day.
TDEE, what does that mean you say? Total Daily Energy Expenditure, this is how us as fitness professionals and for you at home too can calculate how many calories you can consume on a daily basis. This TDEE is determined on your height, weight, age, what you do for work and how many times a week you exercise. For example, with all my measurements, having a physical job and exercising six times per week, my TDEE is 2300 - 2400calories a day! Now remember this number is for me, and me only as its from my personal measurements and you as an individual reading this could have a completely different number.
Now by working out this number I know how many calories I can eat in a day to maintain my current physique. If I was wanting to lose weight, I would subtract 500 from this number and eat 1800-1900calories as you need to be in a calorie deficit to lose weight. However if I wanted to build muscle I would add 500 onto my calories instead of subtract as you need to be in a calorie surplus to build muscle.
Now that we have covered that, it comes down to what you are eating. To work out whether or not, if missing a meal with affect your body and health, comes down to how many calories you have consumed that day. If you haven't hit your total calorie intake for the day and you miss a meal, then yes it will affect you in the sense of you are under-eating. Most people who are tracking their calories are interested in their health and well being or have a fitness goal to hit, so if you under-eat or over-eat for that matter then it isn't going to benefit your goals what so ever.
Of course by being in a calorie deficit, causes your body to loose weight. However by being too much into a calorie deficit, it can harm your body, our bodies need food 'energy' to function, and when there isn't a sufficient amount of food being eaten our bodies can't cope. When this happens our bodies don't know when they are going to be fed again, so whatever food gets consumed next will be stored and not used to burn calories as you are depriving your body of its required nutrients.
Treat your body like a car, you can't run a car off of no fuel, so why would you run your body off of no food? Exactly you shouldn't. I hope this has given you an insight as to why over eating can be just as harmful to the body as over eating and that I have educate you somewhat today.